The residents of Austin, Texas, are truly lucky to live in such a foodie town. It is hands-down the best food I’ve ever experienced of anywhere I’ve lived. From exciting chefs (Top Chef winner Paul Qui, to name one) and world-class Bar B Que (Salt Lick BBQ, anyone?!), to the best Mexican food (personal fave: Fonda San Miguel) and award winning chocolate (Delysia, of course), it’s a culinary dream.
There is no shortage of fabulous restaurants to enjoy a memorable date night in Austin. Here are my personal favorites:
1. Uchiko (Japanese) – With its beautiful, warm interior, the sister restaurant of Uchi features incredible sushi and Asian dishes. I’ve never tasted such perfectly composed flavors as in these plates. Everyone will tell you to order the brussel sprouts—and I whole-heartedly agree. Order the brussel sprouts. From there, explore and be adventurous. You and your date will not regret it. Tip: Arrive early and order a drink or make a reservation because it will be busy any day of the week.
2. Congress (American) – Chef David Bull is an artist. The overall ambiance in combination with his high-quality, refined menu and perfectly selected wine list is a masterpiece. Congress is a prix-fixe menu restaurant (choose from either a multi-course or seven-course tasting menu) that changes weekly, sometimes daily. If you’re at Congress, I suggest you and your date go for the seven-course tasting menu. And trust the sommelier’s suggestions on wine pairings. I can assure you that neither of you will forget this evening.
3. laV (French) – Inspired by the beautiful lands of Provence, this elegant restaurant is newer on the Austin scene, but it didn’t take long to impress the city residents. It feels grand and intimate at the same time. The menu is grand as well. The bouchot mussels are remarkable—the curry accent is unexpected and delicious. My favorite small plate was the ricotta cavatelli, which features braised lamb shoulder, caramelized onions and wild mushrooms. If wine is your pleasure, you’ll be delighted to see their large selection (over 1,000 labels).
4. No Va Kitchen & Bar (American) – I had to include this Rainey Street restaurant for date night options. I had the pleasure of teaming up with Chef Brad Sorenson for a few events in Austin, and he’s one of the nicest individuals you will meet. Located inside a renovated house, its decor is quite modern and light. Plus, he’s a talented chef that takes an ordinary recipe and turns it into something spectacular. For example, his cheese burger tartare is a fun, fresh twist on a classic. You and your date will love the view, love the people watching, and most of all, love the food.
Enjoy these restaurants and when you’re ready for dessert, Delysia’s Prestige Truffle Collection featuring champagne, dark chocolate and cigar flavors will make your memorable night even more special. Cheers to date night!